§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. William Whitelaw)
There is a dialogue between the police and the local community, whose support is essential if progress is to be maintained.
§ Mr. Parry
I thank the Secretary of State for his reply. Does he accept that the work done by local policing in the community can be undermined by police actions outside inner areas? A serious incident occurred recently in im1er Liverpool and it nearly started another riot. Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that the bridge building done by the community police can be destroyed by such actions?
§ Mr. Whitelaw
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that question. The answer lies in the closest possible cooperation between the chief constable, chairman of the police authority and police authorities as a whole. I am pleased to note that that co-operation is improving greatly.
§ Mr. Alton
In view of the staggering 50 per cent. increase in burglaries in inner Liverpool and throughout Merseyside in January, does the Home Secretary agree that the time has come to reinstate the £500, 000 reduction in the Merseyside Police budget this year and to think again about the reopening of local neighbourhood police stations?
§ Mr. Whitelaw
I accept that the burglaries are extremely serious. A great deal of work can be done by co-operation with the police, crime prevention measures and many other methods of assistance. The money given—first, through the Government grant and, secondly, through the rate support grant—to cater for police pay increases, and, indeed, the general importance that the Government attach to law and order, should cover all the council's demands.